Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to learn all about the difference between copyright, creative commons licensing, and free licensing. Before class two weeks ago, I had never heard of at least three of the four terms listed above before. For those who are also new to these terms, here’s how I would define them:
Copyright: work with this type of license cannot be copied or re-distributed at all.
Creative Commons Licensing: work with one of these kinds of licenses may be re-distributed, shared, edited, etc. but it depends on the type of license.
Free Licensing: I understand this to mean work with this license is free for the public to use, copy, re-distribute, edit, and share. (For example, the photo that goes with this blog post is considered “public domain”, meaning I did not have to cite its license below, which I think is similar to free licensing).
We spent the majority of our class time discussing “Creative Commons Licensing”. Getting a more open license for teachers and others to use, copy, and re-distribute the work is actually a major issue today. For example, consider the fact that online textbooks cost hundreds of dollars, and sometimes that information cannot be otherwise accessed without buying it, even though the writing of it was funded with government grants which are funded by tax-payers (ie everyone). How crazy is that?!
This is why “Creative Commons Licensing” is so great. Whenever you or anyone else creates a work to be shared on the internet, you can choose to put this license on it and choose how restricted or open access you would like it to be.
For example, take a look at this new “Creative Commons License” I just put on my entire blog!
Simply put, this license means that people can share edits or extensions they have made on anything in my blog as long as they share similar things, but not for commercial use.
I’ve now started to putting the licensing information underneath or in the captions of every image or movie that I have taken from the internet that I have posted on my blog. I challenge you, dear readers, to find them!
Also, check out this amazing website to search up the different licenses of different works you may want to use or pick a license for your own! I feel that knowing a piece of work’s copyright information and referring to it properly when re-distributing it is just as important as citing your work is in a research paper. It’s definitely not something to be overlooked.